Princess Diana broke the mould - but did the Royal Family learn the lessons?

·2-min read

Twenty-five years on, it is still impossible to imagine how two boys were woken up and told their mother had died in that car crash.

A heartbreaking family tragedy that rapidly became a moment of global mourning. An anniversary the world still talks about today.

And one that every year I get asked, as a royal correspondent, whether there is more to say.

There are no big memorial events planned and yet it's been a week where you can't pick up a newspaper without reading something about Princess Diana.

There are new programmes about her life and her death. Her legacy continues to inspire and the way she broke the royal mould continues to fascinate.

Even in her death she is a figure that the Royal Family continues to live with.

Prince William and Prince Harry understandably want to keep her memory alive through their charity work; her heartfelt desire to make a genuine difference is ingrained in everything they do.

As they've grown older, her imprint is there on their relationships with their wives and children, their desire to protect their own families and their privacy.

Harry has obviously been more vocal than William about that, but we'll see it when the Cambridge children go to school and the banks of photographers are kept away.

For all the fond memories of a remarkable woman, her continued presence is complex however.

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What happened with the Sussexes has made people question whether the institution really did learn from the fallout from Diana's divorce, the public outrage that followed her death and the accusations that the Royal Family was out of touch.

With updated documentaries and crucially The Crown, a new international audience has been introduced to what happened in the 1990s - a younger demographic who may feel more of a connection to Harry and Meghan.

And with Meghan's interview in The Cut and revelations in her new podcast series, it's flared up again this week.

They may have vocal critics, but they also have passionate supporters.

Today Diana's sons, thousands of miles apart, will quietly remember their mother.

Both of them, just like her, now shaping how the world feels about the Royal Family; one from the outside, the other from within.